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      UK youth groups seek volunteers as parents try to get children away from screens

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Friday, 5 July - 10:13

    More than 170,000 people are on waiting lists to join the Scouts and Girlguiding

    Youth groups are clamouring for more volunteers amid a rise in the number of parents seeking affordable and sociable outdoor activities for their children away from screens.

    Groups including Girlguiding and the Woodcraft Folk are facing substantial unmet demand for their sessions as the Scouts this week said their waiting list has hit a historic high.

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      Children facing a ‘brutal’ loss of time and space for play at state schools

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 17 June - 14:00 · 1 minute

    Shorter playtimes and shrinking outside space in England have serious implications for children’s wellbeing and mental health

    Children are facing a “brutal” loss of space and time for play in school, teachers, unions and academics have warned.

    A combination of factors is eating into the time children spend outside, and will have serious implications for their wellbeing and mental health.

    A Guardian analysis of the space available to state school children in England has revealed that thousands are attending schools with very little outside space, with government data showing that more than 300 schools have under 1,000 sq metres and at least 20 have no outside space. In nearly 1,000 schools, there is under 10 sq metres for each pupil.

    New and unpublished research from the UCL Institute of Education seen by the Guardian showed a continued downward trend in the amount of time children have for playtime in the wake of the Covid lockdowns, with the youngest losing the most time.

    The demands of the curriculum have increased, and continue to diminish time outside, while staffing shortages are reducing capacity to oversee playtime.

    Across England and Wales schools face difficult financial decisions, which are having an impact on the funding to care for grounds. Headteachers in the state sector have said they are in desperate need of funding to improve basic facilities for children.

    School buildings are crumbling, as many were built with Raac (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) that was not replaced within its usable lifetime, meaning in some cases playgrounds are being used to host temporary classrooms. This is squeezing out the little space some schools have for children to spend time outside.

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      Angry? Disappointed? Heartbroken? Think twice before you call the feelings police

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 17 June - 10:00 · 1 minute

    Faced with ‘bad’ emotions, it’s natural to want to lock them up. As a therapist and a patient, I’ve learned to let them run

    Not so long ago, one of my best friends was sitting at my kitchen table, crying. He and his partner had just broken up, and I could feel his desperate sadness and the crushing weight of grief at losing someone he loved so much. I stood by the counter feeling so helpless. Confronted with his suffering, I was desperate to lift him out of his misery, to tell him that they would get back together, that things would be OK. It felt like an emotional emergency, and I wanted to call in the feelings police to lock his bad feelings up.

    One of the hardest things for me to do, when I was training to be a psychotherapist, was to stop trying to make my patients feel better. It is of course a very natural response, if someone we are with is feeling bad, to want to make them feel good. We feel it in our bones – feeling bad is bad, feeling good is good, and we want only good things for those we care for. Emergency! Shut this thing down!

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      Dating apps took over my life – so I ditched them and learned to live in the moment | Anya Ryan

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 17 June - 09:00 · 1 minute

    I used to remove myself from experiences in favour of chasing matches. Now I’m fulfilled by the company of real people

    Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. For a while I was swiping so much I was barely thinking. Dating apps had hijacked my fingers, brain and evenings. I’d swipe left, mindlessly and without even looking, under the table at group dinners or during TV ad breaks. I’d fanatically check my new matches at the end of each day. “This is modern dating,” I’d tell myself. “It’s a job. I have to keep on going. This is the key to my happy ending.”

    For months, this was my normality. But unsurprisingly, the lifelong romance I was looking for never materialised. As I sat on my sofa on yet another Sunday night ready to swipe until I ran out of steam, I decided I’d finally had enough. Even if my screen was flooded with likes or messages, my forays into dating app culture had rarely ended with in-person dates. I’d spend hours agonising over a single response – I needed to be funny, cool and captivating but not give too much away. But why was I so desperate to impress a distant stranger trapped behind a screen? What was I doing all the monotonous swiping for? I decided I needed to go cold turkey and figure out why I had been sucked in so completely.

    Anya Ryan is a freelance journalist

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      The loneliness trap: it is as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So will it shorten my lifespan?

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Sunday, 16 June - 13:00

    Lonely people are more likely to get heart disease, strokes, anxiety, depression, dementia … Add it all up, and they’re 26% more likely to die early. How do you avoid joining the unhappy millions?

    I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about a lonely old age. Closing in on my 61st birthday, eight years into a very happy marriage, I’ve got a wife, two teenage stepkids, an older daughter by an ex, a grandson and four siblings. Most of them at least tolerate me; a few even tell me that they love me. But maybe I’m taking too much for granted. People die, drift apart, fall out – and anyone who knows me will tell you that I can be very irritating.

    Fifteen or 20 years from now it’s not inconceivable that none of my family will want to have much to do with me.

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      Electrical brain stimulation can ease heartbreak, study finds

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Sunday, 16 June - 12:28

    Researchers say transcranial direct-current stimulation can reduce ‘love trauma syndrome’

    Breaking up, as the Neil Sedaka hit goes, is hard to do. The emotional pain of a romantic split can be so severe it has its own clinical name – love trauma syndrome, or LTS.

    But help could be at hand for those seeking to mend a broken heart. Research shows wearing a £400 headset for just a few minutes a day may ease the misery, negativity and depression that can accompany a failed relationship.

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      I’m an expert on adolescence: here’s why a smartphone ban isn’t the answer, and what we should do instead

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Saturday, 15 June - 08:00 · 1 minute

    Jonathan Haidt’s bestselling book blames social media for a decline in teenage mental health. But is he right?

    When I was 13, two of my friends were arrested for shoplifting. Along with two boys in our year, they had decided to bunk off school – our suburban grammar school renowned for its academic excellence – and get the train to a shopping centre nearby. The day had been going well until they reached HMV, where a security guard asked them about the CDs they had hidden in their coats. Cue a call to the police, and some time in a cell at the local police station. By the end of the day, news had travelled to the rest of us via an SMS on our Nokia 3310 s and we gathered at one of our houses to discuss the situation. Most of us were crying.

    It was but one dramatic moment in a lawless year. In year 7 we had been a fairly risk-taking group, but in the spring of year 8, a new girl joined our school and her arrival set things on fire. Beside the shoplifting habit, there was a lot of alcohol, stolen from parents’ cupboards or bought for us by strangers on the high street or by older siblings. We drank where teenagers have always drunk: in parks at night or during unsupervised parties at home. Blacking out was not uncommon, and more than once someone ended up in A&E. There was a lot of smoking, too, cigarettes and weed, and a lot of arguing about boys and each other (more crying there, too).

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      UK election manifestos: views of those in education, health and social care

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Friday, 14 June - 16:20

    From Labour’s free school breakfast clubs to the Lib Dems’ focus on social care, what do those who work in these areas think of what’s promised?

    Labour launched its election manifesto on Thursday, focusing on economic growth and the offer of a fresh start after 14 years of Conservative rule.

    Here, six people who work in education, health and social care share their views on the pledges made by the UK’s political parties.

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      Mental health is main cause of rising absences in England, say headteachers

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Friday, 14 June - 13:21

    Nearly nine out of 10 report marked rise in pupils missing school due to mental health issues since Covid pandemic

    Children’s mental health and anxiety are the biggest drivers behind the sustained rise in school absences since the Covid pandemic, according to headteachers who said the government’s plan to raise fines for parents in England would make no difference.

    Nearly nine out of 10 secondary school leaders – including attendance officers tasked with tackling absences – said there had been a marked increase in pupils missing school over the past two years because of mental health issues.

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